Online banking can provide you with nearly all of the same products and services you expect from a brick-and-mortar bank, but because overhead costs are lower, online banks can often provide customers with higher interest rates and lower fees. If you’re thinking of making the switch from a traditional bank to a digital-only one, take the time to compare products and services to ensure you’re getting the best of what’s available.
- Checking account service fee
- Savings APY
- 12-month CD APY
- 24/7 customer service
- Live chat
- Mobile app
- Remote check deposit
- BauerFinancial star rating
For the fifth year in a row, Ally Bank was named the top online bank out of 28 online-only banks evaluated in the 2019 study. Its free checking, high savings account and CD APYs, 24/7 customer service and live chat availability, mobile app capabilities, remote check deposit feature and a high BauerFinancial rating have all contributed to making it the best online bank several years running.
Click to see if Ally Bank made the list of the Best CD Accounts of 2019.
What Sets Ally Bank Apart: Customer Service, Fee-Free Services and Advanced Digital Tools
“At Ally, we believe that the customer is at the center of everything we do,” said Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products at Ally Bank. “We consistently pay competitive rates that are 20 times higher than the national average, and we offer some very customer-friendly features: our fee structure, our very friendly ATM reimbursement policies, free bill pay, free person-to-person payment through Zelle, free checks and free incoming wires. And we put a lot of emphasis on our digital capabilities and mobile features and tools.”
The Best Online Bank winner offers 24/7 customer service through phone, live chat or secure email, and you can always access a live representative whenever you need.
Some of Ally’s standout products include its online, best high-interest savings account with a 1.90% APY and interest compounded daily, and its interest checking account with no monthly fees, and reimbursement of up to $10 per statement cycle for non-Allpoint ATM withdrawal fees. Other financial and banking services and products offered by Ally include money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, a credit card, auto financing, home loans and investment services.
Ally is also on the cutting edge of technology with its mobile features and tools and best online banking services, which include Ally Assist, a voice-enabled service through the Ally mobile app that can help you find answers to questions about your account; mobile app card controls that allow you to view transactions and establish limits on your debit card; Zelle compatibility; and Amazon Alexa skills.
Related: The Best Savings Accounts of 2019
Why Switch to Online Banking With Ally?
If you’re still banking with a brick-and-mortar bank — even the Best National Bank — you could be missing out on higher interest rates, or be stuck paying unnecessary fees.
“I think part of it is consumers have probably been a little complacent about their money,” said Morais of why some people haven’t made the switch. “The population that feels the need for a brick-and-mortar bank is shrinking every day as more people discover the ease and convenience — and underlying value — of working with an online-only bank. The reality is there’s very little [difference]. Consumers are really taking stock and doing some research and exploration. And when they do that and they discover Ally, they’re really satisfied.”
More on Best Banks
- The Winner of the Best CD Account of 2019
- What Are Swift Codes?
- Here’s the Top Savings Account of 2019
- Watch: 3 Best Banks With No Fees
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Methodology: To determine its Best Online Banks ranking, GOBankingRates examined 28 online-only banks that offer products nationally according to the GOBankingRates and FDIC databases, excluding online products offered by institutions with a physical, retail banking presence. No asset threshold was consulted for online-only banks.
Criteria for ranking: GOBankingRates scored each online-only bank from most to least favorable on the following factors: (1) checking account fee, (2) savings account annual percentage yield, (3) 12-month certificate of deposit APY and (4) BauerFinancial Star Rating for overall financial strength. Banks were then scored according to whether they offered the following services, all of which contributed to a single weighting: (5) 24/7 customer service available by phone, (6) live chat service via website with a person, (7) mobile app and (8) remote check deposit. Banks were ranked according to their overall score.
Data was compiled from and verified against BauerFinancial and the individual institutions’ websites between Sept. 21 and Oct. 22, 2018. To determine the Best Banks of 2019, GOBankingRates considered the banks’ rates at the time the research was conducted, however, rates that appear in the articles are accurate as of today. Rates, terms and conditions are subject to change at the discretion of the individual financial institutions. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account.